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Plenty of foods from certain countries have broken cultural barriers to become worldwide hits, and hummus is one of them. This savory snack makes an outstanding dip or sandwich spread, and it has lots of health benefits, too.

If you’ve never tried it, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. So what does hummus taste like, anyway?

What’s Hummus?

Hummus is a traditional spread that originated in the Middle East. It is usually made with cooked chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and tahini, which is a paste made of ground sesame seeds. Fresh lemon juice or similar citrus juice is added in, and savory spices help create a complex yet pleasant flavor. These ingredients are typically blended in a food processor along with olive oil, and the hummus is usually served chilled.

It’s worth noting that since hummus is made with no animal products, it’s a treat that can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike. It can be flavored in a number of different ways, and it is often served as a dip with vegetables, pita chips, or crackers. It’s the perfect party food!

What Does Hummus Taste Like?_Alice's Kitchen

What Ingredients are in Hummus?

Hummus has a rich umami flavor, but its ingredients are surprisingly simple. Here are the ingredients you need to make a classic plain hummus:

  • Cooked or canned chickpeas
  • Lemon juice
  • Tahini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Of course, most people like to add other things to enhance flavor. Roasted red peppers, tomatoes, olives, olive tapenade, garlic, beets, sweet potatoes, cumin, and turmeric are just a few examples of the things people like to add to the traditional hummus recipe.

Now that you know the ingredients, you might have a general idea of how hummus should taste. But just in case, let’s answer the question “how does hummus taste?”

What Does Hummus Taste Like?

Understandably, you probably want to know how hummus tastes before you go looking for it in grocery stores.

If you’ve ever had chickpeas, you might think this is what hummus tastes like. But somewhat surprisingly, it doesn’t taste a whole lot like chickpeas. It has a creamy texture that tastes rich and savory, especially if garlic and spices have been added.

Some of that richness comes from the olive oil. There’s also a hint of tartness that comes from the lemon juice.

Lots of people say that hummus has a “buttery” or “nutty” flavor, part of which comes from the tahini.

Are There Different Flavors of Hummus?

The short answer here is yes — hummus comes in a range of flavors. Plain hummus has its own flavor — it’s usually kind of nutty thanks to the sesame seeds. But at Mediterranean restaurants and grocery stores alike, you can find a considerable range of flavors!

Red pepper hummus is one of the more common varieties, although you might prefer chipotle if you have fire-loving taste buds. You can find roasted garlic flavors, hummus made with black beans, rosemary and garlic hummus, and hummus made with olive tapenade. Some interesting special flavors include sriracha carrot, everything bagel, and spicy lentil.

Sweet flavors of hummus might sound odd, but you can find chocolate hummus at many grocery stores. If you like eating hummus but also have a serious sweet tooth, you might want to give chocolate hummus a shot.

Of course, with homemade hummus, you can blend in any fresh veggies you want — just put them in the food processor with the tahini and cooked chickpeas!

What Do You Eat With Hummus?

We mentioned above that many health-conscious people like to use hummus as a dip. But what’s the best hummus complement to use?

Lots of people like to dip veggies in hummus. Carrot sticks or baby carrots are a good easy choice, and carrots almost always taste great with hummus. You can also dip broccoli, cauliflower, and celery. Radishes and cucumbers make unusual but delicious options.

Bread is also a great dipping choice. As long as it’s somewhat firm or crusty, it should work well. Pita chips are a common choice. And if you want to stick to healthy food, try whole-wheat pita chips! Pita bread is another great choice. Plus, if you want to make a wrap with pita bread, you can always spread the creamy paste of hummus long the inside.

Even french fries work well for dipping in hummus. You can use white potato fries, sweet potato fries, or carrot fries. And lastly, the scooped kind of tortilla chips and crackers are good options, too.

If you want some more ideas for crunchy snacks to enjoy with homemade or store-bought hummus, check out this helpful video.

Is Hummus Good for You?

Does hummus taste good? A lot of people think so. But is hummus healthy?

You might be surprised to hear that hummus has some impressive health benefits:

It’s a great source of plant-based protein — A serving of hummus (3.5 ounces) contains nearly 8 grams of protein, which is fairly significant. This side dish makes a great addition to a vegan or vegetarian diet, as protein choices are a little more limited for non-meat eaters.

It can help support digestive health — This Middle Eastern favorite has 6 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Studies have also indicated that the fiber from chickpeas in particular can help encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria while minimizing the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

It may help control blood sugar levels — Blood sugar control is good for general health. And since this creamy paste has a low glycemic index, it can help prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar. Interestingly enough, one study found that even though white bread and hummus have the same amount of carbohydrate, the white bread released four times more sugar into the blood right after a meal.

It may reduce your risk of heart disease — The olive oil in hummus contains healthy fats that can help to support heart health. Chickpeas have also been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, also called “bad” cholesterol.

It’s a great source of several vitamins and minerals — The chickpeas and tahini in hummus offer numerous health benefits. This food is rich in vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus.

It can help fight inflammation — If you have chronic inflammation in your body, you may be at risk for some serious health issues. Olive oil, sesame seeds, and legumes (including chickpeas) have been shown to have the ability to lower inflammation markers.

It may help promote a healthy weight — The protein and fiber in hummus can be a great asset if you’re trying to lose weight. Both ingredients make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, so it becomes easier to eat less. Some studies have linked the consumption of legumes to a lower body weight.

Can You Make Your Own Hummus?

If you like the taste of hummus, you might want to try making hummus. Here’s an easy homemade recipe to follow if you want to make your own:

Gather these ingredients before you start:

  • 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of water

1. Rinse and drain the can of chickpeas before setting them aside.
2. Process the tahini and lemon juice for about a minute in a food processor.
3. Stir and process for an additional 30 seconds.
4. Add cumin, salt, garlic, and olive oil. Process 30 seconds, stir, and process for another 30 seconds.
5. Add half of the can of chickpeas and process 1 minute. Stir, add the rest of the chickpeas, and process while gradually adding the water as needed. Do this for about 1-2 minutes.
6. Add more salt if needed and enjoy!

Of course, if you would prefer a flavored hummus, you could add sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or even hot peppers to add fiery flavor.

Revolutionizing Your Diet

If you’ve never had the chance to eat hummus, we hope that you’ll enjoy this delicious spread! As we’ve seen, there are so many different flavors out there, and there’s a hummus for every occasion. It might just become your new favorite food!

Hummus FAQ

Now that you know the answer to “what does hummus taste like?” you might have a few other questions. Here are some of the most common questions asked by those new to hummus:

Why does hummus taste like cheese?

Different people perceive taste differently, but hummus really shouldn’t taste like cheese! It might if you or someone else added cheese to the recipe. Hummus might also have a cheese-like taste if it’s gone bad.

Is hummus an acquired taste?

Yes, in the sense that it’s not a food that will instantly appeal to nearly everyone. However, if you like chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), you’ll almost certainly love it!

What is the best flavor of hummus?

There are seemingly endless hummus recipes out there, and there’s no single best one. Red pepper and olive tapenade are two common flavors, but you can also find sweet hummus and hummus designed to taste like Thai, Mexican, and other cuisines!